Office of Local Sustainability

Vietnam Forests and Deltas Program
Vietnam Forests and Deltas Program
Du an Rung va Dong bang

USAID’s Office of Local Sustainability (E3/LS) leads the Agency’s work on locally led development. By working through innovative and flexible programs that strengthen the capacity of USAID Missions to better serve and partner with local communities, USAID is able to help reduce dependence on foreign aid.

E3/LS aligns its work with that of the entire Agency - and the broader development community - to inform flexible programming and operations that prioritize locally led development. The Office’s work is consistent with a number of Agency priorities, including the Journey to Self-Reliance, resilience, and procurement innovation.

USAID strongly believes that partnering directly with local leaders, networks, and institutions better enables and empowers communities to respond to complex development challenges with smarter, more resilient, and home-grown solutions.

E3/LS’ client-centered approach is helping Missions to: leverage local capacities and resources; engage with local systems in ways that build upon and strengthen local leadership, capacity, and self-reliance; and be inclusive of marginalized populations.

Today, more and more USAID Missions and other Operating Units (OUs) are incorporating locally led development principles throughout the Agency’s program cycle, policies, and operations.

Subscribe to E3/LS’ monthly newsletter, read past newsletters in the archive, and view an interactive map of the Office’s activities

Local actors become self-reliant when they lead their own development.
Local actors become self-reliant when they lead their own development.


E3/LS’ portfolio includes the flagship Local Works program in 24 countries; Cooperative Development Program agreements in 17 countries; the Peace Corps Small Project Assistance (SPA) program, supporting more than 50 USAID-Peace Corps cooperating countries; and four consortia conducting research and development on locally led development around the world.


USAID’s Local Works is a unique program designed to advance locally led development and enhance the Agency’s ability to empower local actors to take the lead in identifying and addressing development challenges. The 24 Local Works Missions are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malawi, Morocco, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Vietnam, West Africa Regional, and Zimbabwe.


USAID’s Cooperative Development Program uses U.S. cooperatives and cooperative development expertise to advance locally led development objectives. Through CDP, cooperative development organization partners strengthen the capacity of cooperatives abroad and improve enabling environments to help cooperative businesses meet the evolving needs of their members. Currently, CDP is working in agriculture, finance, health, energy, and information technology in 17 countries: Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Uganda.


The Small Project Assistance Program is a 36-year-old collaboration between USAID and Peace Corps to support local community development. SPA is driven by the two agencies’ common commitment to reaching motivated communities - especially those beyond the reach of traditional development organizations - with locally driven, effective, sustainable interventions led by trained Peace Corps Volunteers living and working in hard-to-reach communities. SPA empowers local leaders to lead and own development solutions and processes today and into the future. The Peace Corps and USAID support community-level development projects in more than 50 countries in several sectors, including: health,education, agriculture, gender equality, and small enterprise development.


In 2015, E3/LS notified the public through a Broad Agency Announcement of the opportunity to co-create with USAID to find better ways of supporting locally led development. Today, four consortia are, with the Agency, developing ways to strengthen networks of local actors, increase access to domestic resources, map local networks, understand constituent perspectives, monitor complex social changes, measure and track shifts in social capital, and facilitate multi-stakeholder processes.



E3/LS manages the Agency’s Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Locally Led Development Innovation. This BAA allows USAID (OUs) to co-create, co-design, co-invest, and collaborate in the research, development, piloting, testing, and scaling of innovative, practical, and cost-effective interventions that catalyze locally led development.


E3/LS manages the Agency’s Locally Led Development Annual Program Statement (APS). The APS allows USAID OUs to solicit innovative and adaptive development approaches from local and non-traditional partners. It furthers USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance for partner countries by empowering local actors to lead priority-setting, decision-making, management, and measurement in their communities.  The APS restricts eligibility to local organizations that do not already do significant business with USAID - and streamlines the solicitation process for awards that advance self-reliance and local leadership. By capping the maximum award amount at 25 percent of the prime awardee’s annual operating budget, the APS ensures that awards do not exceed a local organization’s absorptive capacity.

For more information, please contact E3/LS at 

Last updated: August 13, 2019

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